"The Garden Lodge" by Willa Cather

975 Words4 Pages
Cather's “The Garden Lodge” is about a woman named Caroline Noble whose husband, Howard, asked her if she would like to demolish their old garden lodge and replace it with a summer house. The conflict in the story is Caroline is not sure if she wants to knock down the old garden lodge because it brings back memories of when opera singer Raymond d'Esquerre, spent a month at their place. The resolution is that Caroline decides to go on with building the summer house and demolishing the garden lodge. The author uses flashback to explain how Caroline grew up and also when she reminiscences about her time with Raymond.

The characters in “The Garden Noble” are both flat and round characters, who help characterize Caroline throughout the story, especially when the story flashbacks to her childhood. Willa Cather tells rather than shows her characters.

1. Caroline Noble- She is the protagonist/hero and her plausible motivation for not wanting to build the new summer house was her musical past and how the garden lodge reminded her of that. She quickly says to how it would be “ almost a shame, doesn't it, after d'Esquerre has used it”(Cather 3) as a good excuse for not replacing the lodge. She eventually changes her mind after she had “slept over it”(6). Caroline is a static and is a round character being described as “paramountly cool-headed, slow of impulse, and disgustingly practical” (1) and musical with even more characterization that makes her stand out more than the other characters.

2. Howard Noble- He is Caroline's husband and also would be considered the antagonist in this particular story. He does not understand his wife's connection to the lodge and begans taunting her by saying “Why I'd sacrifice the whole place to see th...

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...re flat characters, but her descriptions were like summaries of each of the family members. Cather's tone suggest that she has empathy for Caroline because of “The impression of cold calculation... which Caroline gave, was far from a false one; but there was this to be said for her-- that there were extenuating circumstances which her friends could not know”(2), meaning that none of her friends understand what she had been through in her past.

“The Garden Lodge” takes the reader into the world of a once poor girl who found relief in a wealthy and successful man. Cather uses the point of view and characterization to help fully understand what the protagonist was thinking and why she chose the things she did. She makes this story understandable and a good read.

Works Cited

Cather, Willa. “The Garden Lodge.” The Literature Network. Jalic Inc., 2011. Web. Feb. 2011.
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